Published: January 11, 2011
The efforts of Nagel auction house on the market for Asian art are bearing fruit. This sector is on a high that simply does not seem about to end, with an outstanding total result of $17.4 million November 4 and 5 that puts Nagel on a par with auction results in New York and London.
Seventeen lots achieved six-digit knockdowns at the Stuttgart auction, and 113 lots brought five-digit prices †most of them for fine art objects from China, consigned from European collections and now being brought back home by Chinese bidders †including archaic bronze vessels, Buddhist votive steles, bronze Buddha figures and precious porcelain vases.
Among the oldest objects at the auction were the ritual bronzes, of which one specimen of the “Fang Ding” type intended for food offerings brought the highest price at $375,000. A large ritual bronze of the “Ding” type brought in $103,500.
The knockdown for a Buddhist votive stele made of marble was a high $662,000. Two finely worked fire-gilded bronze figures followed, with a bodhisattva bearing an inscription on the back of the shoulder reaching $174,000, while the Budai was worth $836,000 to a private English collector with Chinese roots. The highest price of the entire auction was won by a 17¼-inch-high bronze figure of a standing Buddha. It was a consignment from an old East German private collection, having originated at the time of the Liao dynasty (Tenth or early Eleventh Century) and brought $1.55 million.
For a white porcelain Kwan Yin figure, marked by He Chaozong, a result higher than ever before was achieved in Stuttgart, $557,400; it was acquired by a private Chinese buyer. Chak’s Gallery in Hong Kong was willing to part with the tidy sum of $1.16 million for a blue and white meiping vase with a Quianlong seal mark and dated to this period.
Fancy handicrafts also sold well. A rare imperial chalcedony model of an immortal on a raft boat above a carved and painted ivory stand sold for $400,800. A rare, finely carved, lotus-shaped water dropper made of rhinoceros horn brought $383,800, and an imperial cloisonné enamel censer in the form of a “luduan” came to the same sum.
The outstanding piece in the second part of the auction was an extremely rare imperial blue and white porcelain ewer with underglaze blue decorations. This vessel, which bears a Yongzheng six-character seal mark, was also made during this period and brought in $505,250. Another surprise was the $296,000 paid for an underglaze red meiping vase mounted in bronze.
Equally outstanding was the $191,650 paid for a fire-gilded bronze figure of Hevajra and Nairatmya; this rare figure with silver inlays was made in Tibet in the Sixteenth or early Seventeenth Century.
The auction also included objects from Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia.
All prices reported have been converted from euros to US dollars and include the 33 percent buyer’s premium. For information, www.auction.de or +49 711 6 49 69-230.
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